Polypeptides from pecan [Carya illinoensis (Wangenh.) C. .Koch] leaves were separated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and visualized by silver staining. Pecan leaf protein profiles were similar irrespective of cultivar (Desirable and Stuart), leaflet position, reproductive status of the allied shoot, or seasonal leaf age relative to fruit development. The large subunit of ribulose l,5-bisphosphate carboxylase and the majority of the other polypeptides were consistently present. However, the most striking change in the polypeptide composition was the seasonal decline of a polypeptide with an approximate molecular mass of 24.5 kDa. This leaf polypeptide was present in leaves collected in June and July, coinciding with the periods of initial fruit elongation and rapid increase in fruit volume. A detectable decrease occurred by mid-August, when kernel development was initiated. Changes in the abundance of this polypeptide relative to other polypeptides were observed over two growing seasons. Cells of young leaves collected early in the growing season contained more ribosomes and starch granules, but fewer vesicles and smaller electron-dense osmophilic granules than old leaves collected late in the growing season.
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